The U.S. is a nation of pet lovers, and many drivers occasionally travel accompanied by a dog. A growing number of businesses, in fact, are taking steps to become more pet-friendly.
Some fleet policies restrict traveling with pets, while others don’t. But regardless of whether a pet is traveling in an employee's personal car or a fleet vehicle off-hours, drivers need to keep in mind just how distracting an unrestrained dog can be. That’s true even if the trip is a brief one.
A survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products found that an overwhelming 84% of survey respondents said they have driven with their pets on a variety of car trips. Only 16%, however, said they used any sort of pet restraint system to make sure their dog didn’t distract them.
Restraining pets inside the vehicle not only prevents driver distraction but also protects the animal and other passengers in the event of a crash. Here are some tips from AAA:
- Whenever you travel with a pet, use a restraint system that limits the pet’s ability to distract the driver, restricts pet movement in the event of a crash, and mitigates crash forces. Some systems utilize seat belts.
- Restrain pets in the back seat. A vehicle’s air bags can prove deadly for pets.
- Padded harnesses with sturdy connectors and straps are available to connect to a vehicle’s seatbelt or LATCH system. Both hard- and soft-sided crates can be used in vehicles, but should always be strapped down. Pet car seats or basket-style holders can be used with smaller dogs.
- A wide variety of barrier systems are available to fit various makes and models of vehicles. These can be helpful in reducing distractions, but they don’t offer protection during a crash.
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